How Drinking Habits Change

Let me preface today’s post with an IRL anecdote:

I woke up this morning to go to work at my normal time, 2:30 am. Today was my first day back to work after nine days off, so you can imagine my mood at that time. As I got into my car, it wouldn’t start. It almost started, clicked a bunch and well, I knew my battery was toast. What was strange about this is that there wasn’t any sort of warning. Sure, I didn’t drive my car for the three days I was gone, but I did drive it several times after being home — enough you’d think the alternator was keeping it charged. There was no hesitation yesterday when I made a few stops, but it is what it is. Thankfully my girlfriend tends to wake up when my alarm goes off, so she hadn’t yet drifted back to sleep and allowed me to take her car to work. I asked my mom to give her a ride to work and to get our son to school and that was that. The day was a standard Monday otherwise and nothing overly eventful happened. After work I had to go get this battery taken care of, so I took the old one out of my car and loaded it into hers. They couldn’t find my warranty information at AutoZone despite the fact that I know I bought it there, probably about four years ago. Whatever the case, I needed a battery so I got a new one, but would you believe they cost $150 these days? I remember the days when you could pick up a half-decent video card for that price. Anyway, I got the battery put in and all is well with the world again. It did sour my mood on writing a bit, hence the later in the day post.

Having had that sort of day, I decided to browse some of the community’s posts before trying to jot something down myself. I came across this post by Roger from Contains Moderate Peril, and I thought I could offer some thoughts on the topic as well.

Like Roger, I tend to get seasonal beers when their seasons come around, but I don’t tend to every really drink light beers (pilsners and the like). If you go back to the beginnings of my drinking career, I didn’t even drink beer. We mostly bought bottles of cheap spirits and drowned them in juice or soda and got our kicks that way. At some point I was introduced to “good” beer, which prior to I hadn’t had much outside of the big ones like Budweiser or Miller. Some early roommates of mine introduced me to Heineken and other “skunky” brews that I took a liking to, eventually graduating to things like Sam Adams (and a variety of their seasonal brews) and Guinness. I still enjoy the latter two, but I tend to only drink dark beers, outside of IPAs.

That was a more recent addition the repertoire. When I met my girlfriend, I remember still buying 12 to 18 packs of Miller Lite and other watery beers, and we would drink and drink and pee and pee and well, you get the picture. At some point someone bought her some Lagunitas IPAs and from there she was hooked. I didn’t immediately enjoy them, but had tried and enjoyed a few IPAs in my day, so I started an experimental phase and found a number of great tasting IPAs that I buy on a regular basis. I also found beers like the Old Rasputin Russian beer that is fabulous – it’s dark, it’s strong, and it tastes good.

The main reason for enjoying IPAs though is less about the flavor and more about the alcohol percentage. See, with your typical Bud Light you’re probably getting somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5% alcohol per volume. Most IPAs start around 6%, so you’re already doubling up on the percentage and are able to drink less beers, hence less bathroom breaks. It also means only needing to pick up a 6 pack for that gathering, rather than an 18 pack, and yeah,  you’ll probably have to be that guy who doesn’t share but fuck em, right? It was BYOB and you handled shit son! Anyway, many of the IPAs that I drink are in the 7.5-9% range, and I find that I don’t have to drink too many to get a nice buzz, and when you have to nap in the middle of the day, that’s a good way to bring it on. If nothing else, I’m now a cheaper date. I’m sure my lady appreciates that.